US judgment Roe v. Wade behind Kelowna abortion rights protest – Okanagan

Stuart Park in downtown Kelowna filled with more than 100 protesters Monday morning in the wake of a controversial ruling on abortion rights in the United States.


“We will not simply ignore the situation just because we are in another country,” protester Alea Panis said.

“Just because we’re in Canada doesn’t mean it won’t happen to us.”

Protests like the one in Kelowna have been staged across Canada since the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v Wade ruling last month.

“I don’t know if there should be any laws about someone’s body because it’s not really the government’s position to be able to say anything about someone else’s body,” protester Brett Hammerschmidt said.

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The overturning of the 1973 verdict paved the way for states to ban abortion.

“I find it terrible. I think it’s terrible. I think we went back 50 years and that scares me,” said Sophie Harms, co-organizer of the protest. “And so I think, instead of just being scared, there’s something we can do about it.”

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A deeper look into both sides of abortion and the impact of Roe V. Wade on Canada

A deeper look into both sides of abortion and the impact of Roe V. Wade on Canada

The demonstration was organized by Harms and Nyah Meller, two recent Okanagan College grads who are passionate about the cause.

“I’m passionate because unfortunately many of my family members have been sexually assaulted and we were considered the lucky victims. Luckily we weren’t pregnant by our abuser. But that’s not the case for every single woman,” Meller told Global News.

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In addition to physical rights, organizers said the protest aimed to highlight another important issue, the accessibility of abortion.

“For the Okanagan, there’s only one listed abortion clinic in the whole valley,” Harms told the crowd.

Meller said not only can access be restricted, but it’s also costly for some people.

“In New Brunswick, the provincial government doesn’t actually grant access or pay for abortions outside of the hospital setting,” Meller said.

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“And because there’s such a big demand, a lot of people can’t go to the hospital to have an abortion, so they have to go to the 554 clinic and pay $700, up to $850 for an abortion, which isn’t possible at all.” , if you are low-income or from another community.”

Monday’s protest also drew a handful of anti-abortion protesters who normally demonstrate outside Kelowna General Hospital.

“I was made aware that there are people who are pro-abortion and opposed to the Roe versus Wade reversal,” said anti-abortion protester Kathy Hein. “And we just wanted to make sure the whole community didn’t think this is what everyone thinks is right. There is also the other side.”

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The pro-life advocate said there is plenty of support for pregnant women and there needs to be better awareness of all the resources available instead of abortion options.

“I know that many have very difficult circumstances. I’m not saying it’s not a hard thing, but I think we create a very hard society when I’m willing to destroy a human life, a helpless human life, to get my way,” Hein told Global News. “I think it’s just not a good way to keep a society going.”

When asked about unwanted pregnancies due to sexual assault, Hein said it still came down to what she called a “defenseless” child.

“Sexual assault still involves a defenseless child who had absolutely nothing to do with the assault,” Hein said. “It’s a human. I mean, I can’t be held responsible for what my father did. He could be the most evil person on the planet…don’t I have a right to life because I’m an individual in my own right?”

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Roe v. Wade toppled: Pro-Choice protesters demonstrate in Toronto in solidarity with women in the US

Roe v. Wade toppled: Pro-Choice protesters demonstrate in Toronto in solidarity with women in the US

The pro-choice protesters see it differently, arguing that everyone should have body autonomy.

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“I will fight against it until it is OK in all countries,” said Meller.

“Every person should have a choice about their body and have an abortion when they need one, without being belittled by people in the church, the state, anything. It’s our body and it’s our choices.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc. US judgment Roe v. Wade behind Kelowna abortion rights protest – Okanagan


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